MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - As sex abuse cases against the Boy Scouts of America continue, attorneys here in the Lowcountry are handling many of the national claims in bankruptcy court.
There is now a deadline looming for the thousands of men who claim they were molested by scout leaders.
“It shaped a lot of who I believe I am,” Kevin Dean, an attorney with Motley Rice in Mount Pleasant, said.
He was in the Boy Scouts for ten years and achieved Eagle Scout status.
“None of these issues were in my troop or community that I was aware of," he said. "I find myself in the middle because it is a good program if it was handled properly and when issues arose, if people would alert officials... that obviously didn’t happen.”
His firm is involved in the negotiations for the victims in bankruptcy court.
“Unfortunately, this sexual abuse has gone on for many, many years. Hidden from the public. And it put the Boy Scouts of America in a position where they had to file bankruptcy,” Dean said.
In recent years, he said, the volume of cases grew to the point where the Boy Scouts of America filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in February so they can reorganize and, according to legal documents, “establish a compensation trust for victims who suffered abuse during their time in scouting.”
Now the clock is ticking.
“[Survivors of BSA abuse] have until November the 16th to file a claim in bankruptcy court. It’s not a lawsuit... It’s simply a bankruptcy claim. There could be anywhere from 50 to 100,000 potential claims,” Dean said.
Dean said there have been claims from South Carolina filed. “I believe anywhere from 12 to 15 [claims in SC] dating back to the 80′s. South Carolina does not have what’s called a ‘window look-back law’ to something that happened in your childhood,” Dean added.
So, he says, this bankruptcy filing is a last opportunity for survivors of sexual abuse in the BSA to come forward for compensation.
For more information, visit the official BSA bankruptcy site.